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What Is The Difference Between A Graduate Job And A Graduate Scheme?

Karina Oluwo

30 April 2019

by Karina Oluwo

( Words)

Final year students have a lot on their plates, what with completing dissertations, preparing for their final exams, and trying to secure that prized great first job. There’s a lot of choice out there for graduates. With such a heavy workload, it makes sense to prioritise applying for the types of jobs you are interested in. A key choice for most final year students is deciding between a graduate scheme and a graduate job.

Graduate Schemes

Graduate schemes are popular with a wide range of companies, both big and small. The idea is that the company recruits a batch of graduates each year. These young people all start at the same time, and follow a structured training programme. The training programme typically involves close mentoring by a senior manager, exposure to different areas of the business by moving jobs regularly, and lots of training workshops. Companies hope that by investing money in this way, they can mould the cream of the graduate crop into the managers of the future.

Graduate schemes – also sometimes known as graduate training programmes – can be very competitive. Completing a two or three year training programme can provide a great kick start to your career. If you decide to stay after the programme, you can easily move into a range of different careers within the organisation. If you decide to leave, you can apply your skills and experience elsewhere. Most graduate schemes start recruiting through the autumn term, with interviews around February/March and a start date in September.

Graduate Jobs

Graduate jobs are slightly different. Again, these are roles which are only open to people who have graduated. However, unlike a graduate training scheme, you are being recruited to full a specific vacancy and to take on a fixed role. Opportunities for training will depend on the company.

The advantage to this type of job is that you get more in-depth experience in a job. If you’re clear about what you want to do when you graduate, then it makes sense not to waste time trying out a range of departments to see which one you like best. As you will be going into a vacancy, you might even be able to start right after your exams, so you’re not spending summer twiddling your thumbs.

Finding Graduate Employment

Whether you decide to go straight into a graduate level job or try to get into a training scheme, the one thing which is true is that you can’t rest on your laurels. Employers open up applications as soon as term starts in September, and if you leave it until after Christmas, you may find many of the deadlines have already passed. Your University careers service should be able to give good advice on where to look for opportunities, and how to apply.

La Fosse Associates graduate scheme combines the best of these worlds. We run an award-winning training scheme which fast-tracks your career by teaching you all the skills necessary to launch a successful career in professional services, without don't have to compromise on salary or give up your summer.

Its currently open for applications – in fact, we've already accepted individuals who finishing uni this summer, to start from then onwards. If you're wondering whether to start your career or travel first, check-out our article on how you can do both.

Get in touch with for opportunities and for more graduate insights, read these:

What Is A Graduate Programme?

Todays Top Jobs For Graduates

When Should I Apply For Graduate Jobs?